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Five Tips to Pitch Your Book to a Literary Agent in Person

If you are invited to a writer’s conference or you are planning to be part of a writer’s conference, it might be a good idea to know how to pitch a literary agent in person. A writer’s conference is essentially for writers to attend and there will be agents and editors who will be paneling there.

Sometimes, you can also expect grand published authors – most of the time, a writer’s conference includes classes that you will sign up for, where the classes are about writing, publishing, and editing. 

Attending a writer’s conference might also give you the opportunity to pitch your book to a literary agent in person. If this sounds interesting to you, then you can immensely benefit from the advice below. 

Tip #1: Research

The first tip for pitching a literary agent in person is all about research. You will want to research how to write a pitch and you will want to research how to perform a pitch. As you will be pitching the literary agent in person, you will want to do your research on any sort of public speaking. You can find multiple sources that you can use to pitch a literary agent.

When it comes to research, you will also want to research the literary agent. This aspect is similar to how you have to do extensive research on literary agents before submitting a query online. You will also want to do your research on the respective literary agents before you pitch to them in person.

For instance, if you live in Portland, Oregon, you might want to check out the literary agents in Portland, Oregon, and the kind of work they take on and help writers publish. When researching, you will want to look up the kind of books the literary agents represented. 

So, don’t forget to look into the types of books the literary agents want to represent. You will also want to research their blog platforms and whether or not they are active on social media. 

These are some of the things that you can do your research on and essentially use to your advantage. The right research will not only help you in conversations but it will also help you personally as you will feel more comfortable knowing who you are pitching to.

The more you know a person, the more you can assess and gauge whether or not they are a good fit for your book.

Tip #2: Practice Out Loud 

Pitching a literary agent in person is different from sending out query letters, which is why you will want to go with preparation as there is a potential that one of these agents might sign you on as a client if they love your pitch. 

You cannot read your pitch off the paper, which is why you will want to memorize the pitch. After you have memorized the pitch, you will want to practice in front of the mirror and practice in front of someone else. If you don’t have an audience for practice, you also have the option of videotaping yourself to assess what you do like and don’t like about how you present the pitch.

Tip #3: Leverage the Power of Visualization

Don’t be afraid to leverage the power of visualization. In fact, you will want to visualize as much as you can about what the conference will be like, including its look and feel. You can also visualize what building it will be held in. The underlying reason is that the more you can visualize the scenario, the more prepared you will feel about it. 

Nonetheless, there is no denying that with visualization, you can have some scary thoughts, too. You might look at the conference and wonder how many people are going to be there. If you are shy as a person, the thought of being surrounded by people might make you nervous.

However, it is important to mention here that you will want to feel comfortable with the thought of being uncomfortable, as comfort won’t help you secure a great book deal, but discomfort will. So, don’t allow your inner nervousness to get a better hold of you.

So, the key is not to simply visualize but to visualize with positive thoughts. For instance, if you find yourself feeling scared of the potential thought of having to deal with a crowd, then your best option is to re-visualize the crowd as a sea of friends and writers that you can get to know. 

Tip #4: Leverage the Power of Positive Self-Talk

When it comes to attending a writer’s conference, it is not the time to think about all your potential faults in public speaking. Instead of letting self-doubt influence you, you will want to force yourself to think positively.

Whatever worries you have, you will want to write them down on a piece of paper and then create a positive version of that thought. You will not only think better but you will also feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally if you are having positive emotions. 

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

You will want to look after yourself, which means that you will want to go to bed on time and eat healthy foods. Also, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast on the conference day and dress for the occasion by wearing comfortable, flattery clothes.

Do your hair and do your makeup if you are a woman; make sure your beard is trimmed if you are a man. Do whatever you feel good about. The thing is that if you feel good, it shines out; when you look good, you feel good. So, never underestimate the power of looking your best – especially on the conference day.

You might feel hungry, which is why you might want to pack some snacks in your bag so that you have something to nibble on. Don’t forget to bring your notebook and pen so you can take notes on what just happened when you were at the conference. 

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